Dundee Utd 3-0 Queen of South: McMullan, Clark & Stanton earn win

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Nicky Clark's strike was his fourth in five games

Dundee United seized command of the Scottish Championship, opening a nine-point lead at the summit after a thumping win over Queen of the South.

With Lawrence Shankland absent on international duty, Paul McMullan and Nicky Clark stepped up in the first half to set Robbie Neilson's side on course for a fifth consecutive win.

Sam Stanton added a splendid third after the break as United moved nine points clear of Ayr United, with Dundee a further three back and Inverness Caledonian Thistle one more adrift.

The outcome was rarely in doubt, as the league leaders set out with intent from the off.

Stanton and Clark both fired over before Queens centre-back Lee Kilday had to be replaced and, as the visitors adjusted, McMullan calmly converted Louis Appere's cut back.

Queens attacks were rare – although Connor Murray did have an effort disallowed for offside – and United doubled their lead just before the break when Clark latched on to McMullan's pass to finish.

Four minutes into the second half, the contest was over when Stanton picked up a throw in and dribbled through before beating the goalkeeper with some ease.

McMullen almost made it four but United were content to settle for the victory that continues their stride towards the Championship title and promotion back into the top flight.

Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson: “I was really pleased, particularly with the first-half performance. I thought we started with a lot of energy and created a lot of chances.

“Winter is when you win titles – December, January and into February when the grounds aren't great the training can be difficult. It's wet it's windy and you just need to keep picking up points.”

Queen of the South manager Allan Johnson: “I think we made it quite easy for them with the goals we lost – not with general play because there wasn't much between the teams.

“Goals change games and they were really poor from our point of view. We gifted then the three goals but apart from that I don't think they created that much.”

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